Broncos News Briefs - Monday, July 25

Second year Denver Broncos wide receiver Darius Watts takes center stage in today's news reports.

Training Camp Preview: Special Teams - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, July 25, 2005 - Months had passed since the 2004 season ended. The Broncos were already in the midst of their offseason practices, beginning the preparation for 2005. All that time had elapsed, and yet Rod Smith, the team's primary punt returner last year, was still seething over how the special teams fared. "Special teams, we were horrible," said Smith. "I'm on special teams and that's why I can say it. We were horrible. "It was something I said during camp last year, we were putting all of this emphasis on defense, all of this emphasis on offense and no one was talking about special teams," Smith said. "That area kind of let us down. As a group we have to find a way to get better at it."

Watts is playing with the hand he was dealt - Denver Post - Bill Briggs
07/24/2005 - No one is offering football alibis, least of all Darius Watts. Any pro receiver who gets his mitts around a spiral should cradle and caress it like he's saving a baby from a balcony plunge. Especially if he's in the end zone. Especially if his playoff-fringe team trails 25-24 in the final minute. Especially if it's Raiders Week. But the thin, amber scar that runs from Watts' right armpit to his wrist reveals some of the wonder in his 31 rookie catches a year ago - and might explain some of the drops that tainted his Broncos debut. So might two fingers that remain so numb he once seared his pinkie on a stove without knowing he was cooking his flesh. So might the transplanted tendon that turned his once-frozen claw back into a right hand following a car wreck.

DBs may hold the key - Denver Post
07/24/2005 - There are teams whose seasons can be determined by the outcome of a single contest - the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFC Championship game a year ago, for example, or the Indianapolis Colts versus the New England Patriots in a 2005 postseason contest. For the Broncos, this season may well ride on the performance of a single position - defensive back. Torched by Peyton Manning and Co. in the opening round of the playoffs the past two seasons, one of Denver's biggest priorities entering the year was shoring up a secondary that appeared virtually nonexistent on the turf at the RCA Dome in January - and that was with 2004 Pro Bowl additions Champ Bailey and John Lynch.

Foxworth glad deal is done - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
07/24/2005 - Rookie cornerback Domonique Foxworth said there was no way he would miss even one team meeting with the Broncos. "It was never an issue," said the former Maryland star, a third-round pick in April's draft. "I didn't want to miss even one team function. That's not the way I wanted to start my NFL career. To have my contract signed is 100 percent relieving." The Broncos say they believe their four remaining unsigned draft picks will have the same soothing feeling by Thursday, when the team reports for training camp. Practice begins Friday. The Broncos have had little indication of difficult proceedings ahead since sending proposals to their six picks in June. The team has been in contact with all their selections and continued talking Saturday.

Questions abound as camp nears for Broncos - Daily Camera - Kyle Ringo
July 24, 2005 - The sun has risen over Colorado's eastern plains more than 2,300 times since the Denver Broncos last won a playoff game. The club begins its seventh training camp Thursday since former quarterback John Elway retired. The franchise is still in search of its first dose of postseason success in the post-Elway era. Coach Mike Shanahan went 47-17 and earned himself a mastermind moniker with Elway in the locker room, but has gone 54-42 since, not counting a pair of embarrassing losses in the playoffs to the Indianapolis Colts in the past two seasons.

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